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Investing in spraying

ALPHA plus – 28 m boom

With the ALPHA plus i self-propelled field sprayer, farmer and contractor Erland Lundeby from Fredrikstad, Norway, gets increased capacity and reduced waste in the field. He is the second farmer in Norway to invest in the-top-of-the-range model from HARDI.

- I have been driving a 3-point mounted HARDI sprayer, but it reached max potential. In order to expand the acreage I had to invest in new equipment, and a self-propelled sprayer seemed like the best choice, says Erland Lundeby from Onsøy outside Fredrikstad.

He grows cereals, peas and rapeseed on 140 ha, which he sprays 3-4 times per season. In addition to his own crops he sprays for approx 30 customers in the local area. In the season 2007, it totalled 1700 ha. He is now the second farmer in Norway, who has invested in a HARDI ALPHA plus i self-propelled field sprayer.

Easy to drive
- Spraying is done throughout the season. Previously, I used the same tractor for spraying and fertilization and had to change tools all the time. In order to free the tractor, I decided on a self-propelled machine. And it is always ready for use, he points out.

HARDI ALPHA plus i with the intelligent sprayer-package is the top-of-the-range model among HARDI’s self-propelled field sprayers. The machine has been designed with a view to a more efficient workday and comes with a number of intelligent features and equipment. It has 4-wheel drive as well as 4-wheel steering as standard.
- The machine is flexible and easy to handle and has a very steady and excellent boom. I have 28 m boom width, and still I can easily back into corners, he states.

The HARDI ALPHA plus i has automatic height control of the boom according to the ground, which optimizes the application:
- The automatic height control works fantastic, Lundeby says.

“The controls are simple and ergonomically gathered to the right of the driver’s seat.” Erland Lundeby

A GPS receiver registers where you have already been and contributes to further reduction of the amount of liquid. Lundeby has divided his boom into 13 sections, where each section opens and closes according to the GPS signals.
- When driving manually with a boom of this size, it is difficult to see the overlap. By means of the GPS the overlap is significantly reduced, and you save quite a lot of pesticides. 

Air assisted spraying - TWIN
Another advantage with the HARDI ALPHA plus i is the air assisted spraying, which ensures better penetration in the crop. 
- I am already familiar with the TWIN boom type and know that you drive with a smaller amount of fluid. In addition, it tolerates quite a lot more wind. I was used to air assisted spraying, and it was definitely an important factor in choosing HARDI again, Lundeby explains.

The sprayer also has SmartValve liquid handling, with all valves placed on the left side of the sprayer, improving the ease of use. You can choose between a 3,500 and a 4,100 l tank with AutoFill system for filling of liquid.
- You just state how much liquid you want in the tank and apply pressure, and then the machine fills itself with the requested volume while you are free to do other things, says Lundeby.

Excellent visibility 
You have excellent visibility compared to a trailed sprayer. The boom is closer to you and you have a fine overview of it. This is also an advantage when turning. With the air assistance, a proper view of the spray mist is helpful when setting pressure and angle.

You also get a better clearance.
- I apply fungicide in a good deal of rapeseed that is more than 1.5 m high. The clearance under the sprayer is 1.4 m, and so there is practically no traffic damage under the middle of the machine. Earlier, the plants that went under the middle were lost as they were brought down and often broke, Lundeby explained.

AutoWash ensures easier maintenance.
- I simply choose one of three programmes. When I bring clean water, it washes and flushes the sprayer in the field while I go around the track. I don’t even have to leave the cabin.

Furthermore, if you need to interrupt the spraying, the cleaning of the valves is easy.
- With the unique valve system the liquid circulates constantly in the entire spray boom. If I need to interrupt the spraying, I can flush the boom with clean water without spraying any liquid out. And there will be no pesticide sedimentation in the nozzles, says Lundeby.